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Old 04-17-2002, 01:21 PM   #1
thomson
 
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Freaky! Ki,one-point, and centering

What is the difference between Ki, one-point, and center? I have a vague idea about each as my sensei has tried to explain them to me, but I'm a little dense and I'm hoping that maybe by getting comments from others that it will start to sink in.

Here's (in a nutshell) all I understand about each:
Ki - like a lifeforce that can be bent by your will to help or allow you to do extraordinary things
One-point - where ki originates
Center (centering) - concentrating on your one-point.

I'm probably way off but I'm new to MA's and eastern ideas so I'm having a very difficult time trying to grasp a lot of concepts. And Yes I realize that it will probably take a lifetime to fully fathom, but right now I'm just trying to get an elementary understanding of them so I can build on it.

Thanks,
Mike

To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. - Sun Tzu
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:32 PM   #2
Brian Crowley
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I'm sure that you will get more eloquent, philosophical and/or mystical answers than mine; however after a few years of martial arts, I think of ki as using "physics with attitude." In other words, I think ki is a combination of physical skills/attributes and a positive/decisive mental attitude.

People can accomplish NEARLY miraculous feats within this context. I remain skeptical of any martial arts tricks that seem to defy the laws of physics (although I think we all secretly wish to be able to "use the force" with enough training) !

Good luck with your personal journey in search of the meaning of ki ...

Brian
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:18 PM   #3
MaylandL
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Quote:
Originally posted by thomson
What is the difference between Ki, one-point, and center? I have a vague idea about each as my sensei has tried to explain them to me, but I'm a little dense and I'm hoping that maybe by getting comments from others that it will start to sink in.
Hello Mike
I hope that I can do your question justice. OVer the Easter Break I was on an aikido seminar (15 hours of intensive training over 4 days...WOO HOO! )

Sensei got us to do a whole lot of meditation and breathing exercises to gather and concentrate key in out abdomen (hara as he calls it). He said it was important that we channel the energy (ki) of our breathing into our abdomen and visualise that ki being stored and concentrated there. He said that the ki should flow from the hara whenever we were doing techniques or moving.

He also said that heart, mind and spirit (kokoro, he called it) needed to be in harmony and to be calm for aikido to be effective. This was achieved through gathering, storing, concentrating and the release of ki.

We did about two sessions (about 4 hours) full of exercises and techniques on these aspects. My head is still spinning from trying to make sense out of what sensei was teaching us.


Quote:
Originally posted by thomson

And Yes I realize that it will probably take a lifetime to fully fathom, but right now I'm just trying to get an elementary understanding of them so I can build on it.
I know this sounds really mystical. I'm sure it isnt and he didnt explain or demonstrate the concepts or principles in mystical terms. I sincerely hope that I have not done a disservice to sensei by misinterpreting what he said. If anyone on this forum can provide further insights or comments, I would welcome them.

ITs going to take me a lifetime to make sense of this but it sure is going to be fun figuring it out.

All the best for your training...so much to learn and only a lifetime

Last edited by MaylandL : 04-17-2002 at 10:20 PM.

Mayland
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Old 04-17-2002, 10:20 PM   #4
PeterR
 
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If you don't mind Brian I think I will use the "Physics with Attitude" description of Ki even though it does not quite fit in to what we do.

In Shodokan Aikido we talk about Breath Power, Power of Movement, Power of Body and the more mystical Ki. The later is never mentioned in the dojo but interestingly one Ki-wee observing class exclaimed about the wonderful Ki of the teacher (San-dan uchideshi). Several of our warm-up exercises have their counter -part in Ki Society but I would say are much more dynamic.

I would say the greatest difference between Shodokan and Ki society is how encompassing the term is but still - in answer to the first post - like many things in Aikido nothing really stands by itself. You can not talk about one component without considering the other.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-18-2002, 02:06 AM   #5
Jorx
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I'd like to point out that MANY students and even senseis don't bother themselves/are rather sceptical with the concept(s) of Ki.
There are HUNDREDS of those. As for example and to a contra to the common lifeforce one is that chi is a physiopshychological (pheew) state which has the maximum level of concentration and cooperation of mind/body.
And to achieve it more effieciently it is good to think about the "flow" stuff.

Many senseis just leave this concept open and let their students think whatever they want to think about it. As my sensei says "Everyone knows/likes to think it's there but noone knows what it is"

And one-point OR center can be defined as your mass center. Usually we don't bother the beginners with the mystical ideas (unless they really are into this stuff).
It's just a fact that if you move from your hara (for the non-mystical ppl defined as one's mass-center) you can use your whole body mass - which makes the movements much stronger as everyone of you should know...

Jorgen
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Old 04-18-2002, 05:15 AM   #6
Bruce Baker
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KI/onepoint/centering

To simplify into my feeling for these terms:

Ki : gut feeling of energy. Being able to generate and send this energy throughout the body or project it to a one point (hand/foot/ head/or whatever is focused upon)

One point : Just what it sounds like. Focus ONE point and that is where the physical and ki energy is directed towards. (sending energy or force through your body to ONE point is the usual term inferred)

Centering : When there is too much superfluous thought, or distraction, you need to bring your mind into clarity. Weed out distractions from thought and purpose. Feel the physical balance of your body in your gut, then clear away the clutter of your mind within yourself. Centering upon calmness, stability opens your senses to what is around you.

The old saying ... focus on what you are doing ... can be applied to this causing you to regain emotional, physical, and mental balance within yourself.

This is the simple term of self understanding, but withing many ways of teaching they will progress to wider definitions, meanings, and understanding.

Always grasp simple, then expand your knowledge.
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Old 04-18-2002, 09:18 AM   #7
Jonathan
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It's been my understanding that your "one point" and your "center" are the same thing. Another term that is used is "hara". All of these terms refer to a spot about 2 or 3 inches below your navel where, apparently, your body's balance and power originate.

Ki is, as you've seen in this thread, considered by some to be merely well-applied physics. Others follow a more mystical interpretation of the what this word means. I get the sneaking suspicion that no one really has a definitive answer to what Ki actually is. Here are some descriptions I've heard: internal power or energy, life-force, the power that results from the unification of breath, mind, and body, etc., etc.

Have fun figuring it out!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-18-2002, 09:19 AM   #8
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Quote:
Originally posted by thomson
What is the difference between Ki, one-point, and center?
For me ...

Ki = Energy, spirit, intent. It's all around, in everything, constantly in flux. We cannot 'bend' ki to our will, but we can leanr to 'move' with the flow more efficiently ... look here: http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/gordon3.html for more of my thoughts, thought they are expressed in far more esoteric terms than I usually use. It's hard to talk about something like that, better dealt with through training.

One-Point = Seika no Itten, or tanden. Generally accepted in many Asian martial arts as a point below the navel and centered in the abdomen. This is considered the point of balance, wellspring of personal ki, etc.

Center = see Tanden/Seika no Itten ... pretty much same-same.

Chuck

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Old 04-20-2002, 11:48 AM   #9
Bruce Baker
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Ki, center, one point ...

The human body ...

We have yet to have the definitive study of what chemical and electrical energy of the human body translate into what we percieve to be these things ... ki, center, one point.

We do know that certain internal organs and their function produce different feed back to the brain, which then interprets this feeling or action.

The big problem with one set of instructions fits all, is the human beings experiences and what they interpret these experiences to be within the brain.

Fire is hot, water is soothing or nourishing, wind blows and moves the many things in the air ... but do we all interpret these things the same?

Physically, we poke here, and get a reaction there ... we then assume all following reactions will be the same and felt the same by all human beings, but are they?

Excuse us if we interpret the feeling, the terminology differently, but common meditation, and a little help from a teacher should answer your questions as you practice and hone the skill to percieve these things.

Don't be surprised if you are less sensitive to getting the same feelings as others ... this is why I say to start simple and build upon basic practice principles.

I went to practice this morning, first time in a couple of weeks as there were other events that canceled Saturday class for me. By instinct, I don't have a problem with hamni or ai hamni for techniques, so I got a couple of heads up from Sensei to not confuse the new guys. Each of the three new guys percieve the same practice at a different level, with different things being important to understanding what Sensei was teaching. So, Sensei spent five minutes to correct each new student ... especially when saw they might get hurt if I really did the technique to the pin or throw. (you know, ride the wave as opposed to fight the wave?)

It acutely reminded me of my first few months of going beyond the normal dojo practice with creating pain and torqueing out pins to slapping pain rather than tapping pain ... Not feeling the amount of force needed?

My ki was weak, my center was strong, and my one point was easily unbalanced. Karate, jujitsu, and grappling have a different feel from Aikido, and it really was difficult to get a handle upon using unbalanceing, riding the wave of energy, and being able to interpret the movements as either uke or nage?
As your Aikido improves, you will naturally do centering, one point, and ki, but will you recognize them when you do?

Eventually, you will find your faults, catalog them for observation, and see ways to attain your goals.

Like most of the people here, I have been through numerous eastern and western doctrines in religious thought, and martial arts.

Until you feel the energy of ki, use it to focus at one external point (even though the instruction of finding that energy is refered to one point one inch below the navel .... your guts or gut feeling), learn the meditation of centering your thoughts ... then you will have tasted / touched these feelings that can easily be returned to.

I find, not thinking about it ... just lets it happen on its own.

The trick is ... to remember what it is you feel it.

Good training to you.
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Old 04-21-2002, 12:10 PM   #10
Brian Crowley
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
If you don't mind Brian I think I will use the "Physics with Attitude" description of Ki even though it does not quite fit in to what we do.
Peter,

I don't mind at all. I'm just happy that someone else thinks's there is a grain of truth in it.

BTW, I always enjoy getting the Shodokan perspective from you.

Brian
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Old 04-21-2002, 12:38 PM   #11
Erik
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A few years ago I had a conversation with a guy who played basketball for some level of the Yugoslavian national basketball program (or whatever they called it). He wasn't one of the best, which why he was selling tv's in the same building I found employment, but he was apparently pretty decent. We had a discussion of center/one-point. He grasped what it was right away only he explained it as being much higher than we did, up around the chest area. I had to ponder that one for awhile but I think he was right within certain contexts as applied to the sport of basketball.

I use the same standard definition but I'd be really curious to have someone who studies the body from a mechanical perspective explain where and how power is generated and whether or not the concept is useful from a biomechanical perspective because I'm uncertain that it's as fixed as we make it out to be. As to ki coming from there, well, I think we know how I feel about that.
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Old 08-22-2005, 01:20 PM   #12
Reitan
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

I read the question that began his thread, and after reading the replies, I signed up for this website. Several years ago I was training in a bujinkan club in a small town. I had read alot about personal power development in the martial arts and I wanted to really see what it was all about. I had many discussions with my instructor and classmates, and I learned alot. I moved away and discontinued my practice. One day I was pacing around,just thinking about things, and I started thinking about Ki. I immediately stopped my thought process and just started concentrating on walking, focusing on each step. After about an hour, in which I kept catching my mind trying to wander, I stopped to get a glass of water. Not realizing how much energy and awareness I had built up from my makeshift exercise,I resumed my pacing. As soon as I took a few steps, I physically felt the floor under my feet and the wall on my side, and above me I felt a wave of something crash through my body like an actual physical force. It dropped me to my knees and I felt a sensory overload for a moment,and I had a brief understanding that there was no difference between myself and the room around me. I have since learned much more about that day, and even have expanded upon it. I believe that Ki is everything, by that I mean that everything in existence is a manifestation of Ki. I believe it molds instantly to the slightest intention, and the clearer the intention,the more rapid the unfolding of the intention into reality. I currently view Ki as the underlying substance in this universe that is behind it all. Some people would be quick to dismiss this idea because they can't see it, but you can't see the wind either, just what it does. One-point can have different meanings for me depending on the perspective I'm employing. It could mean that I'm directing my intention in a completely focused manner without wavering in the slightest, or it could mean that I'm mustering my entire being into one focused point from which to act in the world. That actually is included in the centering concept as well. I view centering as a process where I clear my mind, take immediate note of the evolving world around me from second-to-second, and move in that world from my center of gravity in a natural way. By natual, I mean without seperation of your thoughts,feelings, and actions. If you are hesitant to close in on an attacker and you do so anyway,your mind,heart, and body are in conflict, and that is unnatural.I believe when an instructor is talking about Ki, one-point, and centering, they are usually trying to convey information about doing things in a natural manner. I did, and still do my share of "forcing" things, and it's the unnatural ingrained tenancies our instructors are trying to wean us off of when they talk of Ki and such. I do have a tip for those who would like to feel ki in thier technique- Concentrate on exactly what you are doing to the utmost, and if you set your mind on feeling it, it has no choice but to manifest eventually. Feel your body move. Motion itself can be felt just like any other emotion. How many times have you gotten out of a car after a long drive and still felt like you were moving? Once you pay close attention to your body and feelings,ki will effortlessly manifest itself in everything you do. And never stop questioning and exploring, because nobody can do it for you.
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Old 08-22-2005, 04:44 PM   #13
Upyu
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

This stuff was already covered in another thread

I'd say, start here
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?t=8645&page=4

here
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...2&page=1&pp=25

and here
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8531

And shameless plug for those in the Tokyo area, I made a thread on the Bullshido page about my current instructor that can demonstrate all these concepts here
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/sho...t=26158&page=10

As for my own views of Ki, One Point, Centering etc, it has mainly to do with linking your body structure, and being able to create a (stealing terminology from Mike Sigman ) GroundPath that flows through your body. Nothing mystical about it.

As far as linking your body structure, there's many ways to do it, and they're covered in much detail in the other threads.

For starters you need to grasp the feeling of
"Stacking" your bone structure
"Standing" with the spine (requires a straight spine, and a rounding of the sacrum area)
Understanding the key aligments (elbow to knee, hand to foot, shoulder to hip)

Getting this feeling in a static position
Then getting this feeling in a moving position.
The latter being much harder.
Eventually you'll realize that in order to remain "connected" you'll have to move from your physical center. In a very "compression, expansion" type way. It'll cause a weird kind of tension to flow out to your finger tips (the common yardstick to define "ki" "qi" sensations).

Anyways that should get you started thinking at least

My two cents.

Oh and if anyone is in the Tokyo area, definitely check out that Bullshido thread, we're looking for new students...
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:44 PM   #14
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
And shameless plug for those in the Tokyo area, I made a thread on the Bullshido page about my current instructor that can demonstrate all these concepts here
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/sho...t=26158&page=10
Bad link, Rob.
Quote:
Oh and if anyone is in the Tokyo area, definitely check out that Bullshido thread, we're looking for new students...
You'll probably get a few... but you may get a bit of hate mail if you don't conform to the proper ritualism and quit trying to promote results!!

BTW.... if the MSN isn't working it's because I screwed something up.

Mike
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:53 PM   #15
Upyu
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Bad link, Rob. You'll probably get a few... but you may get a bit of hate mail if you don't conform to the proper ritualism and quit trying to promote results!!

BTW.... if the MSN isn't working it's because I screwed something up.

Mike
Thnx for the 411 Mike

This should work "crosses fingers"
http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...&page=10&pp=15

Btw, what's the proper ritualism you refer to "scratches head"
If you're referring to the tone of the post, ignore it, I did it purposely to bait the Bullshido guys. (I'm sure most of you have met more than one mma'er in your life) It did the job nicely to draw attention

PS
I was just reminded of Akuzawa's description of being connected..
Where some in Aikido say it's like water flowing throw a hose,
he described it as being like having a thin line of mercury flowing throughout the entire body.
When the typical person strikes something, that "mercury" is only pressent at the point of impact.
When someone with a higher level of skill and body connection strikes, whether by hand, foot, elbow, head, whatever
its like the mercury is stretched out across the entire body as the strike is delivered.
So your "Yi" or "mind" is present across all points of your body as you strike.


PPS
I msged you on MSN but Im guessing that its not getting through. Worst comes to worst try aiming me at the SN I gave you

Last edited by Upyu : 08-22-2005 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:52 PM   #16
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Btw, what's the proper ritualism you refer to "scratches head"
If you're referring to the tone of the post, ignore it, I did it purposely to bait the Bullshido guys.
No, it suits me. But I'm used to martial arts talk.
Quote:
I was just reminded of Akuzawa's description of being connected..
Where some in Aikido say it's like water flowing throw a hose,
he described it as being like having a thin line of mercury flowing throughout the entire body.
When the typical person strikes something, that "mercury" is only pressent at the point of impact.
When someone with a higher level of skill and body connection strikes, whether by hand, foot, elbow, head, whatever
its like the mercury is stretched out across the entire body as the strike is delivered.
So your "Yi" or "mind" is present across all points of your body as you strike.
Just got offline with you. The mercury, I use the plasma-light-globe analogy. Both are good.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 09-08-2005, 04:03 AM   #17
Reitan
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Usually I feel ki all over and inside at once, and it seems to build the longer I practice. However, I really liked the "mercury" analogy, so I tried it out a few times, and I like the feel of it. It's always interesting to try new things. The closest thing I've found to the way I usually feel ki, is like holding 2 powerful magnets close together and feel them attract and repel, then imagine that feeling inside and surrounding you entire body, except the feelings are determined by your intentions.
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Old 09-09-2005, 10:08 PM   #18
Upyu
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Nice one
Now try and see if you can "separate" the magnets into three different sets.
One that push pulls top/bottom, one that pushpulls side to side, and one that pushpulls front to back
Another thing I've found, it's important to be "relaxed" but completely ok to have TeNsion! Try mixing your intent w/ Tension. You'll find the more you relax, the more you can increase the "tension" . But increasing "Tension" doesn't mean to increasing by tensing.
Gotta love the internals for their constant paradoxes...
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Old 09-10-2005, 07:16 AM   #19
Larry Feldman
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Take a look at Koichi Tohei's first 2 books. The Book of Ki, and Ki in Daily Life. He goes on to explain and demonstrate these concepts, they may help.
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Old 09-10-2005, 05:22 PM   #20
Mark Uttech
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

sometimes 'one-point' is beside the point.
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Old 09-15-2005, 10:49 PM   #21
Kev
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

My father-in-law trained in MA for many years. He can summon "chi" as he calls it (I teased him and called it "shooting cheese") to his hands. He can be almost a foot away from you and within a few seconds you can feel a large amount of heat coming from his hand. I have had him punch me (playing around) and I never really felt him touch me but it would really set me back a few steps. Amazing stuff.
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:05 PM   #22
bogglefreak20
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Kind regards to all!

Quote:
Brian Crowley wrote:
...after a few years of martial arts, I think of ki as using "physics with attitude." In other words, I think ki is a combination of physical skills/attributes and a positive/decisive mental attitude.
I agree that KI can be viewed in this sense. A similar understanding of KI helpes me in my training aswell. I came to a conclusion that intention is the key factor in "channeling" KI. Mind you, conclusions sometimes change...

Quote:
Brian Crowley wrote:
People can accomplish NEARLY miraculous feats within this context. I remain skeptical of any martial arts tricks that seem to defy the laws of physics (although I think we all secretly wish to be able to "use the force" with enough training) !
As for your skepticism - I tend to believe that we (the members of more scientifically oriented cultures) have not yet come to a complete understanding of the world around us. It's only normal to take the laws of physics as we know them today for granted, nevertheless I think it's a bit presumptious of us to assume that we already know all there is to know. Physics, when it succeeds in widening its limitations, might come to new conclusions as it has many times in the history with Galilei, Newton, Kepler, Einstein and so on.

IMHO the "tricks" you mentioned do not defy physics itself but rather our current understanding of physics or physics as we know it today.

In another thread one of the members doubts or better still denies the existence of KI and says it's just as real as George Lucas' Force. Oddly enough, I came to a similar conclusion, namely I too see a resemblance between KI as I see it and The Force as pictured in Star Wars. However, opposed to the afore mentioned aikiweb user I 100% believe KI exists as a flow of energy or whatever else you may call it, and as such can be "used" for different purposes. It's just the way my cookie bounces, I guess...

Anyway, just my 2 eurocents.

But alas let me quote our sensei: "Good, now forget everything I said and continue with your practice."

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
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Old 10-21-2005, 07:47 AM   #23
Saturn
 
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

From what I have learned about Ki, definitions are too vague to help an Aikidoka understand just what Ki is. True, a student really does have to define what it is by themselves through practice, andgrasping a good chunk of it is easy.

Once in Junior High I was very weak and had not had much exersise in a long time. My lungs and heart had trouble handling even jogging. The school took all of the student to a track race at a local field. Many of our students were basketball players, Hockey players and all around physically fit. Now, I had to be involved in a couple of races. A 200m race, a 500m race and a 1500m race. I lost the 200m and 500m race and I was upset, i did not want to lose again because everyone in the school was watching me, INTENT. The 1500m race began and my body began to flood with energy and adrenaline and I got fired up for this despite exhuastion. Half way through the race I was moving up the ranks but the most fit students were all ahead of me. I used my mind, and it was a 1500m race so I had time. I visualized iron bars sticking out of the ground, and everytime I pumped my arms I grabbed an invisible bar and pulled myself forward, and I felt much like I was being carried forward harder and adding to my momentum. In a nutshell, I was in poor physical condition against athletic students, and I still got second place. This blew everyones mind and impressed all including myself.

A good explanation is the unbendable arm, relax and all and your arm becomes stronger, visualize your arm 15 ft long and grab a pole or something on the other side of the room and your become even stronger. Why is this, you have muscles working for you, bones, ligaments, breathing and all of these things add up on the strength metre. If you add focused intention, and a bit of your mind VISUALIZATION you add even more to the strength metre.

Simple visualization and meditation techniques of visualizing blue energy running from your lungs to your belly and out supercharged to your arms or legs is only imagination. But, do it enough and you get the placebo effect and you may tingle. Your body now can react to your thoughts. All Ki is- is an addition of mind and energy due to intent, focus and imagination producing a physical reaction to what was already there....... muscles and bones. It helps, contemplate this concept and come up with your own definition as to why this is.
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Old 10-21-2005, 10:08 AM   #24
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

Well said. Visualization is a most powerful tool.Giving something a name, "KI" or whatever, is how we introduce ourselves to something else. We become a friend and make friends. In gassho
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Old 10-29-2005, 11:05 AM   #25
Saturn
 
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Evil Eyes Re: Ki,one-point, and centering

any other opinions?
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